Breast cancer incidence and mortality in a Caribbean population: comparisons with African-Americans.


We describe breast cancer incidence and mortality in the predominantly African-origin population of Barbados, which shares an ancestral origin with African-Americans. Age-standardized incidence rates were calculated from histologically confirmed breast cancer cases identified during a 45-month period (July 2002-March 2006). Mortality rates were estimated from death registrations over 10-years starting January 1995. There were 396 incident cases of breast cancer for an incidence rate of 78.1 (95% confidence interval (CI) 70.5-86.3), standardized to the US population. Breast cancer incidence in African-Americans between 2000 and 2004 was 143.7 (142.0-145.5) per 100,000. Incidence peaked at 226.6 (174.5-289.4) per 100,000 among Barbadian women aged 50-54 years, and declined thereafter, a pattern in marked contrast to trends in African-American women, whose rates continued to increase to a peak of 483.5 per 100,000 in those aged 75-79 years. Incidence rate ratios comparing Barbadian and African-American women showed no statistically significant differences among women aged>or=55 years (p<or=0.001 at all older ages). The age-standardized mortality rate in Barbados was 32.9 (29.9-36.0) per 100,000; similar to reported US rates. The pattern of diverging breast cancer incidence between Barbadian and African-American women may suggest a greater contribution from genetic factors in younger women, and from environmental factors in older women. Studies in intermediate risk populations, such as Barbados, may assist the understanding of racial disparities in breast cancer.

International journal of cancer